Consuming Passions

Swiftian satire—specifically, “A Modest Proposal”—seems to be the model for this grim farce by Monty Python's Michael Palin and Terry Jones about the accidental discovery at a chocolate factory that human bodies in the vats make for better sales. Squarely aimed at Thatcherism in general and cynical business greed in particular, this project sorely needs a talent on the order of Terry Gilliam in order to register its political point with the proper clarity and bite. What it gets instead is limp and unfocused direction from Giles Foster that can't distinguish between overarching concepts and incidental slapstick details: everything gets the same coarse inflection, and alas, practically nothing works. With Tyler Butterworth, Vanessa Redgrave (the funniest actor on board, as a sexually voracious Maltese widow), Jonathan Pryce, Freddie Jones, and Sammi Davis.

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